living with him

face like cloth stretched around a stone
shining pale pleading white
all winter in my room
with the sound, smoke, and sarcasm.

skin, like, tunnels on its glow
creeps through the room
like winds, glowing.
glows like cloth around a light.

five months like skin crawling
i stay in the room.
the glow reminds me
to stay and wait for the glow.

the properties of phosphorus[1] were
discovered by alchemists who had
barrels of piss stored in barns, rats
and maggots chase around kegs in the smell.[2]

seeking golden elixir through some
last ditch inversion, and lo! what
is that strange jaundiced aura like
light pulled through water, festered glow?

not the final answer but
we did get matches[3]
and chemistry so
here i am in the glow,

five months now.

[1] Phosphorus produces its glow by consuming the oxygen around it, a process Robert Boyle called “debilitation.”

[2] It was later discovered that it is not actually necessary for the piss to rot; fresh piss will yield as much phosphorus.

[3] “Phossy jaw” refers to the necrosis that matchstick factory workers would develop through contact with white phosphorus. Symptoms included gum swelling, abscess, rotting jaw bone, and brain damage. Affected areas would produce a greenish glow and a pungent discharge of pus.

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